Okay, so now that you have a good idea which mindsets could be holding you back, it’s time for some actionable steps you can take to change your mindset so you can be as fulfilled and successful as possible on your pole journey. And tracking your progress and celebrating your wins are at the heart of it.
1. If you are a Should on Yourself Shonda, adopt the growth mindset.
Shonda thinks she should be good at pole dance right away, but why? Why should anyone immediately be great at something they’ve never done before? I’d like to ask Shonda what she would say to a beginner who went on a hike with her or did yoga with her for the first time and expected it to be easy. Shonda would probably say, “But you’ve never done it before!” The sooner Shonda lets go of what she thinks she should be able to do, the easier it will be for Shonda to discover what is truly beautiful about pole dance—which is movement, a thing she already loves! She just can’t see that right now because she’s too busy shoulding on herself.
Shonda needs to adopt a growth mindset. The growth mindset will empower Shonda to give herself permission to learn and grow. The easiest way to retrain Shonda’s brain for the growth mindset is to add “yet” to statements of limiting belief. “I can’t do this” becomes “I can’t do this yet.” I want Shonda to track her progress so she can see her growth. Tracking your progress turns an “I should” into an “I will” and eventually “I will” becomes “I did.
2. If you are an Onto the Next Chase, slow down and savor the flavor.
Maybe someone told Chase that pole dance is a race. Well, whoever that was, they’re a liar. If pole dance were a race, I wouldn’t want to get to the end—there’s no more pole at the end! Maybe Chase thinks that to be a “good pole dancer” she has to be able to do each and every pole trick. Maybe Chase is getting swept up in doing it for the ‘Gram. Whatever the reason, I’d want Chase to understand that the faster you rush to the next trick, the faster you’ll crash headlong into the dreaded Pole Plateau or even worse, an injury.
There are TONS of things you can do with trick once you get it. To slow down and savor the flavor, I’d want Chase to play with exits out of and entries into that Butterfly and to have fun with all the combos and variations. By tracking your progress toward a larger goal, rather than checking off tricks on a list, you can slow yourself down and give yourself space to savor the flavor of each and every trick.
3. If you are a Forget Why you Started Fiona, remember your first day of pole self.
Why did Fiona sign up for pole class in the first place? Oh right. She said she wanted a different, fun, sexy workout that didn’t feel like exercise. In fact, pole dancing felt so unlike exercise, Fiona forgot why she started pole dancing entirely!
I’d love for five-classes-later-Fiona to ask her first-day-of pole-Fiona how proud she is of herself for sticking with it! I bet first-day-of-pole-Fiona doesn’t care if five-classes-later-Fiona missed a pirouette in some choreography. I think first day of pole Fiona would think it was pretty rad. Celebrate the win of showing up for yourself. Sticking with it is something to be proud of.
4. If you are a Perfectionism Patty, embrace anti-perfectionism.
If you are a perfectionist, this is going to be tough. As a recovering perfectionist myself, I know it’s hard to let go of that drive toward perfect because we think being a perfectionist means we are hard workers with high standards for ourselves. I am here to tell you, you can still be a hard worker and have high standards even if you drop the perfectionism… especially since perfection doesn’t exist. What I really want Patty to do is embrace anti-perfectionism and do the damned thing even if it’s not perfect, but I know how hard that will be for her, so here are some baby steps she can start taking instead.
Next time Patty starts to brush off an achievement because it wasn’t perfect, she can stop herself and try saying instead “Next time I will…” Then, I want Patty to celebrate that win! So instead of saying “Yeah, I climbed to the top of the pole but my feet were flexed. “ Patty can say, “Next time, I’ll work on pointing my feet, but today, climbing to the top of that pole felt good!” Try celebrating your wins, even if a little voice inside your head says it wasn’t perfect. Eventually that voice will get drowned out by all your pole mates cheering for you anyway.
Okay, now you have actionable steps to take to change your particular mindset and set yourself up for success: adopt the growth mindset, slow down and savor the flavor, remember why you started, and embrace anti-perfectionism.
Now you are in the right headspace to start tracking, planning, and crushing your pole goals. Read on to learn about terms of art, automatic assumptions, and The TRACK Method, my secret weapon for crushing pole goals.
Want to see what The TRACK Method looks like in action? Check out The Ultimate Pole Goal Notebook.